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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #1
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Do I need a new hard drive? iMac 2008

Hi,

I think my iMac's hard drive needs to be replaced. It's a 20" iMac 2008 model, with a 250 GB SATA 7200 RPM HD. Every time I boot up the computer, the grey spinning circle never stops, so it never actually boots. I have Boot Camp also installed, and I am somehow able to open up Windows XP. However, it's laggy, and when I actually try to copy some files from the HD to my USB, it fails - "I/O error".

Do you think I need to replace the hard drive? If you need any more information, please let me know.

I have the suction cup required to pull out the LCD screen, which works. So I'm assuming I can replace the hard drive (I should have the necessary screw drivers). I think I just need a hard drive now, and I'm planning on following the guide from:
iMac Intel 20" EMC 2133 and 2210 Hard Drive Replacement - iFixit

Which hard drive would you guys recommend? I'm not too worried about space , 250GB (or more) should suffice. But price is a factor - I don't want to spend too much, ideally anyways. Recommendations from TigerDirect.ca- Computers, Computer Parts, Computer Accessories, PC Components & Electronics or Newegg.ca - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more! would be useful, or general suggestions (manufacturer, buffer memory, etc)?

So far, I think it's internal hard drive, 7200 RPM seems good, SATA, and 3.5". I'm not sure about the speed though - 1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 Gb/s, or about buffer memory.

Thank you in advance!

Edit: I was somehow able to install OS X 10.5.2 on a USB (through the Install Disc). The USB seems to work, but again, the hard drive is not mounting, and it said there was some error when trying to retrieve data from it. Maybe this piece of information might help.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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Have you tried to use Disk Utility when booted from either your install disk or USB drive and run DU's "Repair Disk" option??
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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The hard drive isn't detected on the left side where all the drives are, but it can detect the CD drive (well, the Install Disc is running, so it has to :P), and it can detect my USB. But it doesn't detect the internal hard drive any more.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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Have you tried to use Disk Utility when booted from either your install disk or USB drive and run DU's "Repair Disk" option??
You can't fix an I/O error with Disk Utility.


OP - your drive is indeed toast.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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My opps!!! I missed the "I/O error" part I guess.

When looking for a replacement and as price is a concern, I would suggest avoiding the "green" drives which are often a bit cheaper.

Maybe something like:
Newegg.ca - Western Digital Caviar Blue WDBAAX5000ENC-NRSN 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
or for a few $$ more, the black 5 year warranty model which would be my recommendation
Newegg.ca - Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

At least they have stock (and a limit of one per customer) which is all you'll need.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #6
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I've realized I'll have to spend more than $100 on a new hard drive, which is fine I guess. I think I'm definitely getting a Caviar Black from Western Digital, since people have recommended that online (or from what I've seen anyways). I like the Caviar Black one pm-r posted, but it's a bit more expensive then what I originally wanted.

My friend suggested I check out this hard drive:
Canada Computers | Hard Drives | Western Digital Caviar Black (WD7502AAEX) 750GB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)
What do you think? I'm leaning towards this at the moment.

Is there anyway I can make sure I have to buy a new hard drive, because I don't want to waste my money, and then find out that a new HD isn't the solution? I doubt I can return an opened HD.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlaminWiz View Post
I've realized I'll have to spend more than $100 on a new hard drive, which is fine I guess. I think I'm definitely getting a Caviar Black from Western Digital, since people have recommended that online (or from what I've seen anyways). I like the Caviar Black one pm-r posted, but it's a bit more expensive then what I originally wanted.

My friend suggested I check out this hard drive:
Canada Computers | Hard Drives | Western Digital Caviar Black (WD7502AAEX) 750GB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)
What do you think? I'm leaning towards this at the moment.

Is there anyway I can make sure I have to buy a new hard drive, because I don't want to waste my money, and then find out that a new HD isn't the solution? I doubt I can return an opened HD.
I/O error is almost 100% the HDD. There's a slim chance (very slim) that it's the SATA controller or even the cable, but I've never seen those cause I/O errors before.

Easiest way to test is to pull the internal drive and try it in an external case. If it works properly, then it's not the HDD. If it doesn't work, and I suspect it won't, then it's time to order a replacement.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 05:23 PM   #8
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Good price but bad news "Back Order Limited 2 Per Customer"
Canada Computers | Hard Drives | Western Digital Caviar Black (WD7502AAEX) 750GB SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache (OEM)

Shop around fro price and availability. As you know HD stocks lately are going down while the prices are going up!!

If it makes you feel any better, I have the same generation 2.4GHz 24" iMac and it's HD just completely up and died during a restart some 8 months ago, so I'd suggest it's almost time for your's to do the same.

BTW: Try ncix.ca and check out any "specials" they have, but I have my doubts if any HDs will be listed.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 05:43 PM   #9
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I see, so a new hard drive is the solution.

Oh, it says there are a few units at the store I go to, so hopefully it should be in stock (I called them, they said they have it in stock). I'm actually planning on waiting until Black Friday this November (is it in Canada :S), to see if any deal appears. If not, I'll just get this one.

My HD actually died a few months ago. I've just been a bit lazy in fixing it :P

nxic.ca didn't seem to have anything better, plus I like the in-store option.
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